Prince Harry has accepted “substantial damages” from the publishers of the Mail on Sunday newspaper and MailOnline website over an article that falsely claimed he “turned his back” on the armed forces after stepping back from his royal role last year.
A lawyer acting for the Duke of Sussex told the British High Court today that the story was a “personal attack” on the royal and that he would be awarding all damages to the Invictus Games Foundation, which he founded.
Harry also personally requested that his lawyer read a statement in court to affirm his commitment to the military community after the Mail on Sunday’s October 25 story claimed that he had “not been in touch” with the British Royal Marines “since his last appearance as an honorary marine in March.”
Lawyer Jenny Afia said Harry has made “repeated and concerted efforts to continue to support the Royal Marines and other members of the Armed Forces” despite being forced to “step back from his formal military roles” when he and Meghan walked away from their roles as working royals last March.
Afia continued, “The baseless, false and defamatory stories … constituted not only a personal attack upon the duke’s character but also wrongly brought into question his service to his country. Furthermore the publication of such allegations will unfairly tarnish and diminish the organizations with which the duke is associated and thereby hinder the valuable work they do.”
Last month, Associated Newspapers, which publishes the Mail on Sunday and MailOnline, printed an apology for running the story and claimed they would be making a donation to the Invictus Foundation; however, the court heard that no contribution was ever made.
“The Mail again misled their readers in December by claiming to make a charitable donation as part of an initial apology,” a spokesperson for the duke tells BAZAAR.com. “They did no such thing. The duke is personally donating the significant damages recovered from this legal resolution to the Invictus Games Foundation.”
The rep continued, “The truth is that the duke’s commitment to the military community is unquestionable.”
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